The Corn-Shucking Contest at the Sweet Corn Fiesta draws plenty of spectators — and contestants. / Courtesy of Yesteryear Village

If watching people gorge themselves on a large quantity of food — in this case, Florida sweet corn — in just 12 minutes appeals to you, don’t miss the 17th Sweet Corn Fiesta.

There are plenty of other reasons you won’t want to miss this annual event, held in Yesteryear Village at the South Florida Fairgrounds in suburban West Palm Beach. But face it: The International Corn-Eating Contest is one of the highlights. (The contest begins at about 3 p.m.)


Will 7-year-old record still stand when Sweet Corn Fiesta ends?

The winner of the Sweet Corn Fiesta’s Corn-Eating Contest takes home a crown and a trophy — not to mention $2,500 and bragging rights. Hall “Hoover” Hunt, above, won in 2009. / Florida Food & Farm file photo

On April 25, 2010, “Jammin'” Joe LaRue of Utah set a new record — one that still stands — and took home $2,500. He also left with a gold crown and a gold trophy (OK, they’re plastic, but they’re gold in color).

How did he accomplish all this? LaRue scarfed down (“ate” is far too delicate a term for this event) 46 ears of sweet corn in 12 minutes.

“We try to keep this a family-oriented event,” said Ann Holt, president of the Western Palm Beach County Farm Bureau and a Sweet Corn Fiesta spokeswoman. “We started out in 2000 — our goal was and is to educate people about the sweet corn growing out in the Glades. Too many people don’t know how important the Glades region is to our local, regional and even national food supply.”

Plenty of other activities, too

Presented by the Sunshine Sweet Corn Farmers of Florida, the Sweet Corn Fiesta also will feature a variety of other events. They include the Sweet-Corn Cooking Competition and the Amateur Corn-Eating Contest. (No entry fee is required for either one. Sign up at the registration table, in front of the historic old schoolhouse, beginning at 12:45 p.m.)

There will also be children’s rides and games, plenty of fresh sweet corn and other fare, lots of vendors and live music. Kids can ride all day with a $5 wristband.

IF YOU GO
What: Sweet Corn Fiesta
When: Sunday, April 30, 11 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Where: Yesteryear Village, South Florida Fairgrounds
9067 Southern Blvd., West Palm Beach
Admission: $8, adults; $5, 6-11 years; free for 5 and under
Parking: free
For more information, visit sweetcornfiesta.com.